Bookstore sales closed out the first half of 2021 by posting a huge gain in June over a year ago. According to preliminary estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, bookstore sales skyrocketed 81.1% in the month, jumping from $388 million in June 2020 to $703 million this year. It was the first time since 2013 that June bookstore sales topped $700 million. (In 2019, June sales were $613 million.)

With the June boom, bookstore sales rose 30.3% in the first half of 2021 over the comparable period last year, rising to $3.67 billion from $2.82 billion in the first six months of 2020. Bookstore sales for the remainder of 2021 face weak monthly comparisons to 2020, and should post consistent gains for the rest of the year.

For the entire retail segment, sales in the first half of 2021 were up 23% over last year, with a 19.2% increase in 2020.